All poisonous snakes may not look exactly the same – BUT they’re still snakes – and they’re still poisonous.
A WEIS Radio listener recently supplied us with a copy of a letter she had received claiming that she was to be the recipient of $250,000 from the so-called “consumers sweepstakes lottery”, held August 26th.
The letter states that in order to collect her “prize”, all she has to do – is pay a “processing fee” in the amount of $3,850 – and to make it EASY for her the company has enclosed a check for $4,250! How lucky can you be?!
Not very. It’s a scam.
Let’s go through this one more time:
If you didn’t ENTER a lottery, you can’t win. That’s the first thing.
Here’s how the scam works:
You deposit the $4,250 check, then write the scammer a check for $3,850 – you can’t lose right?! After all they’ve already sent you $4,250 – you send them $3,850 and you have $400 leftover for play money. Well, the check they sent you is going to bounce – and that means the bank is going to be looking for YOU to get their money back and to add insult to injury the money you sent the scammer OUT OF YOUR ACCOUNT, which is “real” money, is gone! So, you lose both ways.
The letter instructs the intended victim to call a telephone number provided – and to speak with a ‘claims agent” about collecting their prize. We called the number listed and when we mentioned that we were from WEIS Radio – this is what we got in response: A Click followed by a Dial Tone (aka a “hang-up”).
We did a little more digging and after a quick Google search – managed to get the phone number of the company listed on the check – that turned out to be a legitimate company in New York – a company that has nothing to do with lotteries, sweepstakes and so on; they specialize in decoration and restoration work, and they’ve had their name stolen by the scammers for illegal use in the con-game.
And yes, they’ve received call after call from people wanting to know what is going on. To sum it up – it’s a scam / it’s a scam / it’s a scam.
If you receive one of these letters toss it in the garbage, burn it, make a paper plane out of it – but don’t fall for it. It’s the same ol’ scam.